Acronym for formula translator, FORTRAN is the oldest high-level programming language. Designed by John Backus for IBM in the late 1950s, it is still popular today, particularly for scientific applications that require extensive mathematical computations.
The two most common versions of FORTRAN are FORTRAN IV and FORTRAN 77. FORTRAN IV was approved as a USASI standard in 1966. FORTRAN 77 is a version of FORTRAN that was approved by ANSI in 1978 (they had expected to approve it in 1977, hence the name). FORTRAN 77 includes a number of features not available in older versions of FORTRAN. A new ISO and ANSI standard for FORTRAN, called FORTRAN-90, was developed in the early 90s.